The Calico Jack is a traditional Phinisi providing a fantastic base for guests wanting to visit Komodo and Raja Ampat. At 30 metres and capable of accommodating up to 10 divers, the Phinisi is a highly popular traditional mode of transport between these great diving destinations. Guests can hope to see a wide variety of marine creatures such as sharks and colourful reef fish. Of course, Komodo National Park is the best place to see the prehistoric Komodo Dragon in its natural habitat, and this is certainly a highlight for many visitors.
Diving on Calico Jack
The Calico Jack spends half the year travelling in Komodo and the other half of the year in Raja Ampat in order to avoid the heavy monsoon seasons in each area. Liveaboard trips are available from as few as 5 nights up to 11 nights.
Raja Ampat is the first area to be explored and the Calico Jack visits this area between November and April. Departing from Sorong, the underwater landscapes are nothing short of phenomenal along the way and continually remind you that you are in a very rich and biodiverse region, one of the richest in the world in fact. The diving off the Calico Jack during these months presents the chance to see both the large and small: everything from pygymy seahorses to manta rays and colourful reef fish. The topography is also varied thanks to the volcanic activity in the area.
Komodo is the second area to be explored on-board Calico Jack, however it’s important to note that this trip only sails between May and October. The route includes island hops between Bima, Bajo and Labuan and trip lengths vary between 5 nights and 10 nights. Of course, weather conditions may impact the scheduled itinerary and changes might be required, but the Calico Jack crew will provide regular briefings and updates to ensure all guests are well-informed of any changes.
For both itineraries, guests will have the chance to dive 3 times a day on most days. Night dives are possible for half of the nights on-board and some of the day dives may be allocated to island excursions instead. There are plenty of stunning white sandy beaches and lush jungle areas to explore.
Diving Equipment Aboard Calico Jack
The vessel features a spacious diving deck which guests can use to kit up. Showers are available on the diving deck as well as ladders leading down to the diving platform. Most diving takes place from the deck, although there are times when conditions are not suitable for entry from the deck, in which case the vessel has 2 dinghies specifically for these times. Nitrox is not available aboard the Calico Jack, however guests can make use of both 12 litre and 15 litre tanks depending on their preference.
For underwater photography enthusiasts, the vessel’s dedicated camera room complete with storage stations and work areas is ideal. The camera room also has a computer for sharing, editing and reviewing photos. It is also possible to rent cameras whilst on-board, and a number of photography pros will always be on board to provide assistance.
Detailed Boat Description
The Calico Jack was first built in 2014 and has been refurbished on an annual basis since then. Designed with comfort and convenience in mind, this 30 metre vessel is a classic Phinisi schooner which ensures that it will comfortably handle the rough conditions sometimes apparent in Indonesia.
The vessel boasts 2 dining areas, one indoors and one outdoors as well as a dive deck, sun deck and a spacious lounge area. Although the vessel does not provide guests with access to the Internet, there is a satellite phone for emergencies.
Food and Drinks
When on-board the Calico Jack, all meals, snacks (biscuits and toast), drinking water, fruit juices, coffees and teas are included. Alcoholic drinks, espresso and soft drinks will incur an additional charge.
At the start of each day, guests can enjoy a light breakfast of tea, coffee and toast before jumping into the water for the first dive of the day. After the morning dive, divers can have a full breakfast, freshly prepared to order. Both lunch and a delicious 3 course dinner will be served to your table in the dining room or can be enjoyed on the open-air deck space. Dishes generally take inspiration from traditional Indonesian, Chinese and Italian fare. BBQs are also an enjoyable dinner option. Please let the crew know about any special dietary requirements far in advance as these will need to be taken into account before departing.
Entertainment Aboard Calico Jack
The traditional Phinisi has more than enough space for guests to relax, with indoor and outdoor dining areas, a lounge space with comfortable seats, a computer, TV and DVD player and a large sun deck. For guests who enjoy other water sports there are a number of SUP boards, kayaks, wakeboards as well as fishing gear available to use.
Guests will also have the chance to get off the boat at least two or three times during each trip to explore the various islands, villages and natural habitats of the Komodo Dragons. Liveaboard guests may take the opportunity to snorkel whilst in Komodo National Park or take a hike in the lush rainforests. When on the shores of Raja Ampat, guests can attempt to find the beautiful birds of paradise or climb up to Wayang for fantastic views of the surrounding area.
Laundry services are conveniently located on-board the Calico Jack. Transfers between the boat and the local airport are easily arranged free of charge.